Some explanations are in order.
It has become much more complicated for anyone to become involved in the process of selecting and recommending quality candidates for public office. Given new laws, extensive new regulations implementing various laws, court decisions, and new legal theories about what is enforceable and needs enforcement, the path of conduct that is safe from enforcement action has become very narrow and twisting.
Therefore, I am being deliberately VERY careful about how I express my preferences for candidates in the 2020 General Election.
- First, this is a communication to MSSA members, a First Amendment-protected exercise of Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, also protected from government regulation by various sections of Article II of the Montana Constitution.
- Second, this is a private and personal effort of mine, with no support or payment from any person or corporation.
- Third, no funds are expended to send the email advising MSSA members of this page or to post this page (beyond a de minimis expenditure estimated on the order of 5/100ths of one cent [$.0005] – see Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena, Inc. v. Unsworth.)
- Fourth, no candidates endorsed here have solicited an endorsement or promised anything in return for an endorsement. Conversely, I have not asked anything specific of candidates in return for an endorsement or promised anything to any endorsed candidates. I have only evaluated the level of interest of candidates in issues of interest to gun owners from the candidates’ voting records, returned candidate questionnaires, and other available information.
- Fifth, no copyright is asserted over the material contained here and anyone is welcome to accurately copy, reprint, repost, or recite any part or all of the information contained here, including candidates for public office, endorsed or not. Although this information is intended primarily for MSSA members, it is considered to be in the public domain upon posting.
The candidate evaluations contained here are made from information available about candidates, including voting records for those who have served in office, candidate questionnaires voluntarily returned by candidates, and other information available from various sources.
Candidates are evaluated solely upon how well they understand, how strongly they feel about, and how fervently they support the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Only candidates with a challenge are endorsed for the General Election, and there is not a favored candidate in every General Election race. Some candidates may have equal opponents, or I may have no voting record or returned candidate questionnaire from either candidate in a race.
The candidates who are graded or endorsed here are selected because I have solid information about them and in some cases none about their opponent(s), and because the favored candidate is known to be a strong and reliable advocate for our constitutionally-protected Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
I strongly urge all MSSA members and other interested gun owners to favor and support these selected candidates. The General Election happens on the first Tuesday in November, and absentee ballots will go in mid-October. Get active. Seek out these candidates. Send them much-needed money for their campaigns. Work for these candidates. Spread the word to all of your gun-owning friends. Post the link to this page on social media. Do it immediately!
A final note about endorsements: MSSA usually wants to see a two-letter grade separation between candidates before making an endorsement – an A and a C, or a B and a D. MSSA usually doesn’t endorse a candidate with less than a B grade unless the candidate is running against a known anti-gun candidate. In the rare occasions where there are two or more good candidates, MSSA refrains from any endorsement and only publishes candidate grades for voter information.
Please recirculate these grades and endorsements among your friends, in your gun club, to local media, and however else you can to spread the word about pro-gun candidates.
Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana
About the Montana Shooting Sports Association:
MSSA is the primary political advocate for Montana gun owners. Visit: www.mtssa.org